Indiana University

History B352:  Later Medieval History


Spring Semester 2005, 2nd 8 weeks                                                        Dr. Deborah M. Deliyannis

Place:  Ballantine Hall 003                                                                             Office:  Fine Arts 130

Time:  MTWTh 1:00-2:15 pm                                        Office Hours:  Tuesday 10:30-12 or by appt.

Section:  6180                                                                                    email:



Western Europe from 1100 to 1500 contained many elements that we think of as typically "medieval":  knights, feudalism, cathedrals, King Arthur, chivalry, the Inquisition, Crusades, etc.  In this course we will examine the complex changes undergone by European society during this period, which resulted in the rise and (in some cases) the decline of the institutions mentioned above.  The emphasis will be on western European developments, but we will also talk about Europe's increasing contacts with outsiders, and the way that these helped to transform western Europe.



Course requirements


The following are the requirements for this course:


Attendance and participation          10%

Three 5-7 page papers                   36%  (12% each)

Participation in debate                   14%

Midterm exam                              15%

Final exam                                   25%


Class meetings will consist of lecture and discussion.  Readings from the textbooks are assigned in order to provide background and supplementary material to what happens in class.  It is very important that you do the reading BEFORE the class for which it is assigned.  Discussion, group activities, debates, and other types of exercises will take place at various points in the semester, and you will need to be prepared for these.  Attendance will be taken, and your attendance and participation grade will be based on the percentage of your attendance AND your participation in class exercises.


Five papers are assigned in the course of the semester; you must write three of them.  If you write a fourth and/or fifth, for each you will receive 1 point of extra credit on your semester average if you get a B-/B/B+, and 2 points if you get an A-/A.  Descriptions of the papers may be found here.  Each paper must be turned in in class on the day that it is due; in that class meeting, we will discuss the book.  Note that even if you choose not to write the paper for a given book, you are still expected to read the book (and you will be tested on it).


On six Thursdays we will have a debate in which members from the class participate.  The first week will be a class-wide debate; for the other debates you will be assigned to one team of 3-5 students for one debate.  ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE MADE ON THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS.  You will be graded individually on your participation, so each team must allow all its members to participate.  A website has been created for each debate, with the debate topic, readings (or links to readings), images, and other materials.  Further instructions for the debates can be found here.


The midterm and final exams will be open-note tests; you may NOT however use books or photocopies.  It behooves you, therefore, to attend class and take good notes; also to take good notes on readings and other materials.



The textbook for the class, from which readings are assigned on the syllabus, is:


Medieval Worlds:  An Introduction to European History, 300-1492, by Jo Ann Hoeppner Moran Cruz and Richard Gerberding (Houghton-Mifflin, 2004).


There are also five full-length texts assigned, which can be bought in the bookstore:


The Poem of the Cid, trans. Rita Hamilton and Janet Perry (Penguin: 1984).

The Letters of Abelard and Heloise, trans. M. T. Clanchy and B. Radice (Penguin, 2004).

The Life of Christina of Markyate:  A Twelfth-Century Recluse, trans. C. H. Talbot (University of Toronto Press, 1998).

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Montaillou:  The Promised Land of Error, trans. Barbara Bray (Knopf, 1979).

The Paston Letters:  A Selection in Modern Spelling, ed. Norman Davis (Oxford University Press, 1999).


Four of these are primary sources; the fifth (Montaillou) is  the work of a modern scholar.  These readings will introduce us to the ways that medieval Europeans thought about their own culture and society.





Week 1

            Medieval Worlds, pp. 262-317, 324-349

Mar. 7          Introduction to the Middle Ages:  who, what, where in 1100

Mar. 8          1100-1200:  political outline

Mar. 9          The Crusades

Mar. 10        Church and State

                     debate: Henry II vs. Thomas Becket



Spring Break



Week 2

            Medieval Worlds, pp. 318-324, 350-375, 393-406

Mar. 21        Paper 1 due: The Poem of the Cid

Mar. 22        12th century government: Feudalism?  Political theory vs. practice

Mar. 23        The rise of the cities and the "twelfth century Renaissance"

Mar. 24        Gothic architecture and spirituality

                     debate:  Suger vs. Bernard


Week 3

            Medieval Worlds, pp. 385-393, 439-458

Mar. 28        Paper 2 due: Letters of Abelard and Heloise

Mar. 29        The Upper Classes:  Chivalry and Courtly Love

Mar. 30        Movie and discussion

Mar. 31        Movie and discussion


Week 4

            Medieval Worlds, pp. 378-385, 416-431

Apr. 4           Paper 3 due:  The Life of Christina of Markyate

Apr. 5           Peasants and manorialism

Apr. 6           Political outline 1200-1300

Apr. 7           13th c. government

                     debate:  the Magna Carta


Week 5

            Medieval Worlds, pp. 407-416, 431-438, 458-466

Apr. 11         Midterm exam

Apr. 12         13th c. religion I:  the papal monarchy, church reform and 4th Lateran

Apr. 13         13th c. religion II:  religious orders and popular religion

Apr. 14         13th c. religion III:  heresy

                     debate: the Inquisition


Week 6

            Medieval Worlds, pp. 469-498

Apr. 18         Paper 4 due: Montaillou

Apr. 19         Political outline:  1300-1500

Apr. 20         The Black Death

Apr. 21         The Hundred Years' War and Joan of Arc

                     debate:  Joan of Arc


Week 7

            Medieval Worlds, pp. 499-535

Apr. 25         Paper 5 due:  The Paston Letters

Apr. 26         The Late Medieval Papacy

Apr. 27         Late Medieval Spiritualities

Apr. 28         The end of the Middle Ages

                     debate: the end of the Middle Ages?


Final Exam:  Wednesday, May 4, 5-7 pm, in the regular classroom